Gaylor Lakes

Yosemite, California 95389

Gaylor Lakes

Gaylor Lakes Professional Review and Guide

"This spectacular hike through the high country of eastern Yosemite is a thrilling journey through gorgeous alpine lakes, wide meadows, and historic mining communities. There are incredible views of the High Sierra nearly every step of the way. The high country of Yosemite is overflowing with gorgeous alpine lakes that are among the prettiest in the High Sierra.

Most of these are found deep in the park’s hinterland, where only backpackers go, and see few visitors. A smaller number of lakes are located within easy striking distance of Tioga Road, offering some good options for hikes that explore these alpine gems but do not require long trips to reach them. Of the lakes
that can be accessed with relative ease, the Gaylor Lakes may be the most exquisite."

More Gaylor Lakes Professional Reviews and Guides

"One of the most godforsaken sights you will ever see—and also one of the most starkly beautiful—is the view of Gaylor Lakes from the old silver-mining camp of Dana. This out-and-back day hike offers history and spectacular scenery."

"This is a steep but short day hike into a truly alpine environment where permanent snowfields lie in the shady folds of the mountains, and even in July you might have to skirt snow patches or wade through slush. Your reward is a grand open basin filled with masses of miniature belly flowers and the chirps and whistles of pikas and marmots among a scattering of pristine lakes and ponds."

"This is a walk that has it all—as long as you are willing to ascend the steep 600 feet to the initial pass. The view across the middle Gaylor Lake to the Cathedral Range is striking: an expanse of dark-blue water with the craggy peaks as a backdrop. The meadows surrounding Gaylor Lakes are unusual for the Sierra—lush, moist grass as well as drier spots that are perfect for a picnic. If you wish to continue to the Great Sierra Mine on Tioga Hill, you can see a piece of Tioga history, including the slowly collapsing Great Sierra Cabin."

"Five subalpine lakes and sweeping panoramas await those who take this hike and its optional side trip, although most visitors probably visit only Middle and Upper Gaylor Lake and perhaps the mining cabins above them. To reach the Granite Lakes, you have a cross-country hike. Camping is not allowed in the Gaylor Lakes area, which includes the Granite Lakes."

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Trail Information

Nearby City
1,300 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Skill Level
2-3 hours
Late spring, summer, fall
PO Box 577, Yosemite National Park 95389 (209) 372-0200
Local Contacts

Activity Feed

Oct 2018